Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 10th, 2010
Colonies and India
November 26, 1881
A MYSTERIOUS BEAST IN AUSTRALIA.
A HITHERTO unclassified animal, popularly called the bunyip, is believed to
exist in some parts of the interior of Australia. Its movements are as
eccentric and its appearance is as ill-defined as that of the great
sea-serpent, but a strong belief in its existence, and in the possibility of
its eventual capture[,] is firmly grounded in the minds of many settlers,
who are perhaps looking forward to the time when it shall grace one of the
cages at the Sydney Zoological Gardens. The bunyip, from all accounts, is
of amphibious habits, and when disturbed in its nocturnal peregrinations on
terra firma takes refuge in the water. The latest occasion on which it was
observed was in the neighbourhood of a small salt lake half-way between Robe
and Beachport, near Sydney. The lake is about half a mile from the shore,
and is surrounded by a dense growth of the ordinary coast scrub and timber,
while the plant known as saltwater tea-tree grows in it. Its situation
altogether renders it one of the most secluded spots, and being at some
distance from the main road it is seldom visited; but from time to time
during the last four years a mysterious beast has been both seen and heard
in the neighbourhood of the lake, apparently feeding at the side of the
water. It is vaguely described as a “large animal of dark-brown colour,”
standing about two feet high, and a good deal longer than a Newfoundland
dog. “It moves,” we are assured, like a decent quadruped, “on four legs,”
and leaves in the soft ground at the side of the lake footprints consisting
of four claw marks. It makes a noise like the roaring of a bull, which has
often been heard at a distance when the beast itself was not visible.
Whether this is the “bunyip” or not, the local inhabitants are determined to
solve the mystery; and some of the landowners in the neighbourhood have
decided to make a thorough search for the beast, and are organizing a strong
party with dogs, resolved to capture it, dead or alive.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.